As of the most recent count, members of Facebook worldwide have exceeded the 500 million mark and are well on their way to hit 600 million. And if current First World statistics are to be relied on, it is safe to assume that a great chunk of those people belong to the demographic group whose age is 65 years old or older. In fact, analysts boldly claim that seniors comprise as high as 8 percent of all people who avidly use social networking sites, and for good reasons: seniors and the so-called baby boomers produce all this internet traffic to reconnect with old friends, to make new friends, or simply to share personal information and media files (photos, videos, music) with others. Such online social activities, doctors say, are also healthy—it keeps seniors mentally and socially vital.

Facebook, however, is not the only player in the field. In fact, the high numbers of seniors taking to online social networks have encouraged many an internet entrepreneur to launch web start-ups as their own attempt at taking a slice of this lucrative pie. Seniors are often retired, with money to burn. And it doesn’t hurt to target this paying demographic group. So what are the other “best” social networking sites designed to cater to seniors? The following are just the top 10.

The Top 10 Senior Hangout Spots Online

1. using the slogan, “Your internet community,” offers its members a bustling online community who enthusiastically participate in its forums, chat functionalities, and other site-based tools designed to encourage members to share information and stories. Registration is free, of course.

2. Genkvetch Social Networking: an online social network that specifically targets those who are 50 years old and older, this is a site for people who can still recall having enjoyed listening to 45-rpm vinyl records. The site’s “for seniors” orientation is evident in its easy readability (big fonts for those aging eyes), a color scheme that would not stress out senior readers, and a special personals and news section that caters to the interests of its target members. Genkvetch is not difficult to use and understand, and any senior can go right in and begin taking part in its offered online activities.

3. ThirdAge: when it comes to issues concerning health, aging and retirement, ThirdAge is one of the leading online destinations for seniors who want to empower themselves with forging new connections and knowledge. At the get-go, it is obvious that the site is smartly designed, loads fast, and exudes a sense of sophistication, with its easy navigability and on-site applications. Registration on the site is free.

4. Seniorocity: despite the “senior” tag, the site actually caters to a slightly younger set—those who are at least 40 and above. However, you can still find the usual features that cater to seniors’ needs—it even boldly claims to be “an alternative to Facebook.” Moreover, the entire site’s design and functionalities are such that even those who are not really tech savvy can easily get around and get comfortable.

5. Eons: the site focuses on qualities such as “spirited” and “passion,” and if these words appeal to you, then you’ve found your home at Eons. Free to register, with a lot of interactive features designed for seniors and the so-called baby boomers. The site’s mental exercises or “brain games” are a huge draw.

6. AARP: When it comes to news, games, photos, videos, or even tips on where to get discounts, the AARP Online Community is a good place for seniors to hang out online. The usual social network functionalities of being able to share information and connect with others are present, although this is essentially a mere extension of the main AARP site.

7. Rezoom: with the slogan, “Redefining life for an ageless generation,” Rezoom is basically no different from other online social networks. You can create your personal profile, share and connect with others, even share photos, videos and your thoughts on its built-in blogging system.

8. Multiply: of course, who can forget Multiply, which has been here long before Facebook. However, unlike that other infamous social network of old (Friendster), Multiply is still alive and kicking and innovating, and most of its features are simply perfect for the needs of senior web surfers. Free to register. You can easily share photos or videos or even setup some sort of online shop. It even has fun tools for the creative types, such as cards, calendars, photoediting, and more. The site’s focus is media, and all the fun things you can do with it.

9. Senior Chatroom: if you just want to jump right in and chat with someone—anyone—then Senior Chatroom is for you. Its focus is making web chat much easier and accessible to the adult set. The site’s design is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate—obviously for seniors’ sake.

10. My Boomer Place: with the slogan, “For seasoned travelers of the 50s, 60s and 70s,” the site describes itself as a nice place to “meet, congregate and develop new relationships.” You can freely create your own profile and share information with others, especially with other seniors.

These sites are all excellent examples of social networking sites that seniors can use to connect with others. Seniors can make new friends, or just find out information on any topics in which they might be interested. Try these sites out, and see which one is right for you.

Author's Bio: 

Rescue Alert of California™ has been enabling senior citizens to live safe, happy and independent lives through education and quality medical alarm systems for over a decade. They offer EMD certified responders available 24 hours a day, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that help is available at the push of a button. To read the full article with links to each site, please visit Top 10 Social Networks for Seniors.